VeconLab User Instructions

Experiment Setup: From the Main Menu http://veconlab.econ.virginia.edu/admin.php, select a category of experiments (Auctions, Bargaining, etc.) and then a particular experiment (e.g. Common Value Auction).

  • Login: Enter your user name and password.
  • Sellect Session Name: Choose one of the session names assigned to you.
  • Confirm: If the session name has been used previously, you must either choose to view and save the prior results, or continue with the setup, overwriting prior data.
  • Setup: Select parameter values, the number of participants, etc.
  • Review Setup: Check to be sure it is what you intended.
  • View Logins: Watch a list of participants' names as they log in.
  • Run the Experiment: You can watch choices being made and see data averages from the results page, which can be can be saved, printed, or projected during the subsequent class discussion. You can also read instructions, graph results, and send messages to participants from links on this page.
  • Save Data: At the top right corner of the results page, there is a Create Data Table link that produces an unformatted block of data with column headings that can be pasted into a spreadsheet program like Excel.
  • View Prior Results: If your connection is lost or you wish to watch results on a different computer than the one that was used to set up the experiment, you can use the View Results link at the bottom of each Menus for selecting a particular session name. In this manner, you can go directly to the results page for an ongoing experiment without erasing data.

Subject Login: The participants can begin the login phase after you finish the setup. They will need to use your session name (not your user name) when they log in from: http://veconlab.econ.virginia.edu/login.htm For example, if your user name is cah and you select a session name cah2, then all you need to tell participants is the login address and that session name. They should be reminded to write down their ID and password. If someone becomes disconnected after login, then the bottom "Emergency Restart" button on their Login Page can be used to reconnect, but they will need their ID number and the password they selected at login. This emergency restart button is also useful if students are playing "after hours" from home and want to check results or enter new decisions. If someone forgets their ID, you can look it up from the list of names on the Admin Results page, and the password can be found from the Create Data Table link on that page, or you can use your password to log them in. If you get a message that more than one person has logged in from the same IP address, check the list of names to be sure that nobody has logged in twice by changing their name (the only way in which multiple logins can be made from the same IP address). If not enough people log in and you have selected the "all together" setup option (instead of "go at your own pace"), then participants will have to wait until the required number have logged in before beginning the experiment, and in this case you can use the Change Numbers Link on the View Logins page to reduce the number of participants so that the experiment can begin.

Recommended Testing: A simple (5-10 minute) test is essential to develop the confidence and experience needed for a smooth classroom implementation. To test this program, follow the steps listed above to set up an experiment for a small number of participants. Then open several new browser windows (on the same computer or on different computers), and go to the participant Login Page at the above address. If you are using multiple browser windows on the same computer, you will have to log your test participants in under different names. After all test participants are connnected, you can go through the instructions pages and make decisions for them, and then watch the decisions and earnings show up once the Admin Results page is refreshed.

Read Instructions and Run the Experiment: Once all participants have logged in, they will go to the first page of instructions. I prefer to read instructions out loud, since otherwise some people rush through without reading carefully, and others take much longer, causing the early birds to get impatient. Instructions can be seen from the admin results page by pressing the Read Instructions button. The instructions that are accessed in this manner have been modified slightly to apply to all participants (e.g. to both buyers and sellers). After you finish reading, the Admin Results page will reappear, and participants will go to Submit pages, or in some cases, to Wait screens. You may have to remind them to press the Update buttons to get others' decisions and results. At first, you may also have to remind some people to confirm their decisions. You can spot bottlenecks from the admin results screen. After the first round or so, things should go smoothly. You can send messages to individuals and to all participants via the Send Message link at the top of the Admin Results page for each program. If you have trouble with people surfing the web and want to lock the screens, Ted Turocy at Texas A&M has devised a clever solution: http://econweb.tamu.edu/turocy/charlie.htm?

  • Class Discussion: When finished, I like to project the admin results page or the data graph to start class discussion. These pages let you hide the theoretical predictions, which is best at the start of the discussion. For teaching tips and references to related research, see Holt(2006) Markets, Games, and Strategic Behavior, which has 35 short chapters that are each focused on one of the Veconlab webgames.


    Vecon Lab - May 19, 2019